what is the cheapest lotion you could make? We took a look at various ingredients we would use in a lotion and tried to figure out how to reduce costs. This morning, I found this comment from Catherine (click and scroll down to read the entire comment!), and I thought it was an interesting question. Is it cheaper to make our own products?
I've totally seen the cost savings with lotions, esp. facial moisturizers. But I don't think I've seen them with shampoo/body wash. Which is too bad because it really is enjoyable and satisfying to make your own. But my family is on a serious budget and I have to factor that in. I was all set to reorder my SLeS and coco. betaine from personalformulator.com. Then I noted that, with shipping, the cost was about $13/month. And even if I were to buy by the gallon instead of quart, the cost with shipping would still be maybe $10/month. Versus spending about $10 for a 16 oz bottle of high-quality Jason body wash which lasts maybe 2 months.
When you first start out, you're going to go through a lot of ingredients until you find the product you really love, but it does get cheaper as you finalize those recipes. I don't need to have all the different oils - I only order those I really like - and I really don't need all the different surfactants because I know which ones I really love. And when you know you'll be using a lot of an ingredient, you can order more of it, which reduces the price.
To get back to the original comment, I was looking at the ingredients in a Jason body wash and was quite surprised. The first three ingredients are water, cocamidopropyl betaine, and SLSa. Lauryl glucoside comes way down near the bottom. If you're buying a 16 ounce - 500 ml - bottle, how much of each ingredient do you think is in each bottle? Maybe 10% maximum cocamidopropyl betaine, 10% SLSa, 5% lauryl glucoside, meaning that there's maybe 50 grams of cocamidopropyl betaine, 50 grams SLSa, and 25 grams lauryl glucoside. If the bottle of Jason body wash is $10 for 16 ounces or 500 ml (with taxes, let's say), you can definitely make your product for far less than that! You might need to make a large initial investment, but I think you can make something similar for much cheaper.
As a note, I'm switching out the powdered SLSa for something that foams as well because I hate trying to incorporate SLSa in my products. I think I'll go with liquid ACI (ammonium cocoyl isethionate) as it has a lovely foam and lather to it, plus that feeling of moisturizing afterwards. I don't have lauryl glucoside, so I'll go with decyl glucoside instead. I'm sure I'm using higher levels of these ingredients than the original, but I'm using the percentages that I like! I'm not using sodium PCA as that gets washed off, so I'm increasing the amount of glycerin so we have a nice humectant. For my water soluble oil, I'm using water soluble shea from Lotioncrafter, which is awesome! (For any ingredients that I haven't created a link for, please look to the right and see the ingredients links!)
For these amounts, I'm mostly going with Voyageur's prices as that's where I get most of my stuff. And I'll go with the sizes I might normally purchase. (And no, I'm not starting the duplication series again - I'm using this as an example of how much something can cost.)
POSSIBLE DUPLICATION OF THE JASON BODY WASH
HEATED WATER PHASE
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
5% decyl glucoside
5% aloe vera
3% calendula extract (water soluble)
3% water soluble oil
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance or essential oil
If I look at making a 500 ml or 16 ounce bottle of this product, it works out to $5.56, not including the bottle, taxes, or shipping. Sounds kind of expensive...but I have the ingredients to make another whoknowshowmany bottles of body wash, shampoo, bubble bath, facial cleanser, and tons of other foamy and lathery products. (If I just want to make this specific body wash, I can make at least 20 bottles of body wash without having to replenish my supplies.)
The total for all these ingredients would be $139.90, not including shipping or taxes - I recognize this isn't cheap. If you want to see all the math, click here for the Excel spreadsheet.
C14-16 olefin sulfonate, which would be about 39 cents in this product, bringing the cost down to $2.72 for this product. If you used SLeS, which is $6.95 for 1 litre, you'd use 34 cents in this product, bringing the cost down to $2.67.
If you wanted to use these ingredients to make a shampoo, that would be quite simple. Visit the hair care section of the blog and find a recipe you like. I like the conditioning shampoo for oily hair, so let's use that an example.
As this post is getting really huge, join me tomorrow to see how we can use the surfactants we have on hand to make that shampoo!
Join me tomorrow for more on this topic!
Cheaper lotions - comparing dollar store lotions
Substitutions: Formulating on a budget
Substitutions: Formulating on a budget - substituting esters
Substitutions: Formulating on a budget - surfactant based products